After hours grooving at the best late night parties in the world
Sia – Breathe Me (Ulrich Shnauss Remix) (Go Beat)
I rediscovered this mix a few weeks ago and couldn’t believe I’d forgotten about it. The original is one of my favourite ever songs, a fine Piano and Vocal piece, but this mix takes it in a laid-back electronic direction with some stunning synth lines. Her album Colour The Small One from 2004 is a laid back delight. I’m in denial about her recent collaborations.
One Dove – Fallen (London Records)
A classic downtempo electronica track from the 90’s from their Morning Dove White album, which for me was the true follow up to Primal Scream’s Screamadelica. You really can’t get a better collaborative team than Andrew Weatherall, Gary Burns, Jagz Kooner and vocalist Dot Allison. A sublimely blissed out track. I once bumped into Dot during a studio session and went a bit weak at the knees. Her voice does very strange things to me.
Plaid – Rakimou (Warp)
I could have picked pretty much any track or album from Warp records, but I’ve settled on this track from UK electronic Avant-Gardists Plaid (once part of Black Dog Productions). This track combines lush synth pads, with live Violin and an emotional vocal from Greek Vocalist Mara Carlyle and comes from their quirky Not For Threes long player.
James Yorkston – Tender To The Blues (Domino Records)
I’m a big James Yorkston fan. This was the first track by James I’d ever heard, and it still takes me back to relaxing in a clapped out VW Campervan after a long weekend at Glastonbury a few years ago. A simple laid-back acoustic track with a warm melody and deeply melancholic vocal and lyric. Great to see the album that this features on getting a deluxe re-release earlier this year.
The Orb – OOBE (interModo)
First heard in my teens, the Orb were my lead into the ambient scene. I was pretty ignorant about Ambient House until their classic U F ORB album came out. For some reason I’d not picked up on their debut album ABTU and for that I’m still a little ashamed.Their 2012 collaboration with Lee Scratch Perry is very good too. I’ve fallen asleep to this track many times (in a good way of course!).
Husky Rescue – New Light Of Tomorrow (Catskills Records)
Husky Rescue are a Finnish electronica band from Helsinki who make wonderful, atmospheric, grown-up pop. This song popped-up on my iPod a few years ago whilst I was enjoying an amazing Swedish Sunset and was the perfect soundtrack. A beautiful moment.
System 7 – Gliding on Duotone Curves (Cascade Mix) (A-Wave Records)
From my favourite System 7 album ‘Water’. A gently surging ambient masterpiece in which Steve Hillage’s haunting guitar compliments Youth and Miquette Giraudy’s ambient pads, gentle synth washes and minimal programming. A match made in heaven. Best listened to on headphones.
Stina Nordenstam – Little Star (East West)
This track instantly takes me back to Cafe Del Mar in 2000, when I played a 20th Anniverary live set there with A Man Called Adam. Sally from AMCA introduced to me Stina and I’ve bought everything she’s ever made since then. She has such a fragile, other-worldly voice that instantly transports me to calmer places. I had a 12″ of some amazing mixes of this, but It’s disappeared somewhere and needs replacing.
Underworld – M E (Underworldlive.com)
This is a really great downtempo track from Underworld’s ground breaking debut album Dubnobasswithmyheadman. As with Orbital, I love the fact that the band aren’t afraid to use lush chord sequences and melodies alongside some of their darker, rhythmic progressive moments. This is an often over-looked Balearic classic.
Bjork – Headphones (One Little Indian)
An unusually calm moment from the Icelandic singers sophomore album Post, and a collaboration with Tricky. I often refer to this track as a lesson in ambient production. There is so much space and it’s so cleverly understated. It’s about Bjork swapping ambient mixtapes with Graham Massey of 808 State in the early 90’s and drifting into semi-consciousness, whilst listening to them.
Graingerboy ‘Shadowformerself’ (Popcrisis Recordings)
‘Shadowformerself’ is the enigmatic debut solo album from Graingerboy co-produced by Ian Catt (St Etienne). The quirky play on words in the title gives a very apt insight into the personality behind this gem of a collection, musically influenced by the likes of: David Sylvian, The Beloved, Carl Craig, Massive Attack, Brian Eno and One Dove, inspired by a decade of life experiences that include a personal near death experience in the Christchurch Earthquake.
Graingerboy aka Simon Grainger is a well-respected electronic music producer, hailing from Leeds. A brush with chart fame in the late nineties as one half of Electric Boutique with Kitsune DJ Jerry Bouthier saw their club hit, “Revelation”, catapulting them into the UK Top 40, cumulatively selling over a million copies over the last decade featured on numerous worldwide compilations. However Simon is perhaps best known as one of the darlings of the Balearic music scene during the 90’s when he played live keyboards and backing vocals for the legendary Ibiza sunset band ‘A Man Called Adam’. The band were originally discovered by Gilles Peterson and fellow members included Paul Daley before he left to form Leftfield, who co-wrote their early recording ‘Barefoot In The Head’, an anthem for a generation remixed and championed by DJ/ producer Andrew Weatherall (Primal Scream). Their second album ‘Duende’ featured the meltingly blissful ‘Easter Song’ and ‘Estelle’, championed by the likes of Jose Padilla for his Café Del Mar series and Rob Da Bank (Radio 1/ Bestival). AMCA tracks can be found featured on all the best Ibiza compilations from the past 15 years. During his time with AMCA Simon supported Groove Armada, played at The Big Chill Festival and headlined the Cafe del Mar’s 20th anniversary celebrations in Ibiza.
The forthcoming album represents a bittersweet milestone in the life and career of Graingerboy. Generally a laid back affair, there are moments that pull the listener from ambient intensity to the uplifting magic of euphoric disco. Jagz Kooner has remixed track 5 on the album, flirting with a sound somewhere between the Pet Shop Boys and Hot Chip, joyously entitled ‘Vintage’ the track is due for release September 3rd and a definite contender to be playfully setting dance floors alight this Summer. It’s a perfect, feet shuffling, just cant help those hands from raising, Summer delight that gets you grinning from ear to ear. “PMCM”, was commissioned by Rambert Associate Choreographer and South Bank artist-in-resident Rafael Bonachela, who most famously choreographed Primal Scream, Hugo Boss and Kylie Minogue’s “Cant Get Blue Monday Out Of My Head” mash-up for the Brit Awards.
An exclusive limited edition deep house remix by St Etienne of the hauntingly elegant ‘Summersend’ (track 12 on the album) will be available for free download on 6th August via www.popcrisisrecordings.com
Graingerboy ‘Shadowformerself’ out 15th October 2012